Naval Content to Form Cornerstone of San Diego Ocean Technology Event

Oceanology International Americas
L-R Rear Admiral Piret, Captain Christi Montgommery, Captain Kate Hermsdorfer

Published Feb 9, 2023 8:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

Ocean technology, engineering and science event, Oceanology International Americas (OiA) is ideally located for the activities of the US Navy to percolate through the 2023 event from top to bottom.

As attitudes and legislation around human risk, health and safety evolve, technologies that remove naval personnel from more of the dangerous, repetitive, or unhealthy jobs at sea are gaining more and more traction. Both the protection and understanding of the maritime domain and the environments that navies operate in is also held in ever higher regard. For naval forces around the world, the development of technologies that are enabling uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs) and uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) to perform an ever-growing volume of surveillance, research and survey jobs is a multibillion-dollar industry.

OiA addresses many of these trends, offering a unique subsea expo and conference, set in the heart of the new blue economy. The event is targeted at naval decision-makers and civilians working in the maritime security industries, looking for or learning about hardware such as positioning systems, LiDARs, sonar, cameras, sensors and related technology. In addition to the hardware Oi Americas has a focus on Ocean ICT, the software and communications systems that helps drive ocean data acquisition, transfer and decision making.

As David Ince, Event Director for organisers RX Global says: “OiA will play host to some 2,000 ocean professionals looking to improve strategies for exploring, protecting and sustainably operating in the world’s oceans and waterways. Defense professionals have always played a key role in activities at OiA, simply because naval requirements drive so much of the forward edge of innovation and activity within these sectors. So many of the technologies our industry depends on, like the systems enabling autonomous vehicle operations, were first developed within or with the partnership of the Naval sector. The innovations we need to help us find solutions in ocean technologies are, of course, not solely driven by the big players in our industry, so naval visitors will be able to find innovative solutions from new-to-market technologist and tech-accelerators both on the show floor and in the Future Tech Hub.”

The Ocean Futures Conference at the event represents a focal point to which visitors and exhibitors alike can bring new ideas and help set the stage for positive change in and around the world’s oceans.

The conference program has been designed to ensure attendees get the best possible insights and most up-to-date knowledge from representatives of industry, government, and academia. Opening keynote speakers on the 14th February include Dr. Rick Spinrad, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere & NOAA Administrator and Rear Admiral Piret, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanographic Command. Dr Spinrad brings his own military flavour to proceedings, having held leadership positions at the U.S. Office of Naval Research and Oceanographer of the Navy, where he was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Award — the highest award given by the U.S. Navy to a civilian. Rear Admiral Piret has a distinguished career across numerous commanding and scientific posts and is the current serving Commander of Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, at Stennis Space Center.

With the annual AFCEA and Navy League event, WEST 2023, predicted to attract thousands of Naval personnel, also taking place in the same venue, OIA is perfectly located for Navy personnel to discover the latest in uncrewed systems, autonomy, robotics and ocean observation solutions and for technologists from around the world to connect with the US Navy.

For example, key leadership from US Naval Meteorological and Oceanographic Command will sit on a panel at 15:00 on the 15th February to discuss current capability and future requirements for working with industry for improved maritime domain awareness through utilisation of innovative ocean data collection, modelling, ocean tech and uncrewed systems.

Captain Christi Montgomery, Commanding Officer, Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Command, Captain Kate Hermsdorfer, Commanding Officer, Fleet Numerical Weather Center, SD and Rodney Ladner, Technical Director, Naval Oceanographic Office are all due to speak.

OiA’s event organisers RX Global operate a group of worldwide Oceanology international events and are well used to catering for the requirements of defence sector VIPs, continues David Ince: “Our defence sector visitors and stakeholders trust us to understand their requirements for privacy and confidentiality. One really useful tool at their disposal this year is our brokered meetings offering. The b2match event on Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 February will gives attendees the opportunity to meet potential collaborators and business partners during pre-arranged 20-minute meetings and create real business development opportunities with exhibitors and visitors. Naval decision makers, who are often in great demand at events like ours, through b2match, can meet who they want in a controlled environment that is both efficient and time limited.”

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